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Legacy Development puts 810 Main St. back on market at $1.75M

Frank Chinnici's Legacy Development has put a prominent property in downtown Buffalo back on the market to see what it can fetch, as other pending projects have taken priority over his plans for the Main Street site.

Legacy has listed 810 Main St. and an accompanying lot at 8 St. Louis Place with Hunt Commercial Real Estate broker Chris Malachowski for $1.75 million in all.

Together, the half-acre site near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the Kensington Expressway includes 16,592 square feet of building space and 30 parking spaces.

The Main Street property has a four-story brick office building with 10,100 square feet and a 6,600-square-foot attached warehouse, on 0.26 acres. The St. Louis parcel is the 0.23-acre parking lot, with no structures.

Legacy already obtained city Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approvals in March 2016 for a $4.5 million development project that would have converted the front commercial building and the rear structures into a new 18-unit, 42,000-square-foot apartment complex aimed at doctors and other professionals.

The four-story wood-frame structure in front housed Artvoice on the first floor and vacant apartment spaces on the upper levels. Under his proposal, Chinnici planned to find a new commercial tenant for the ground level, while gutting and rehabbing each of the second through fourth floors into a 3,000-square-foot apartment.

The building is located in the Allentown Historic District, so Chinnici planned to use state and federal historic tax credits.

In back, the developer had intended to tear down a 60-year-old concrete-block, clear-span building with garage doors, while using the foundation to support a new four-story wood-frame building on top. That new structure, with a brick and cement-board facade, would contain 15 apartments on the upper three floors, with a lobby and 18 indoor parking spaces on the ground level.

A two-story "connector" building would have been retained in between the front and rear buildings, but doubled in height with elevators and stairs added to service the larger facilities on either end.

No development was planned for the St. Louis property, but Malachowski said Chinnici and his architects have since determined that they could erect an additional apartment building there, with 30 to 40 units and underground parking. But that "would take up a lot of time" to explore, as "no plans were ever drawn up for anything back there," he said.

Chinnici had planned to get started with the work in summer 2016 and finish by last August, but was delayed as other projects came up, Malachowski said. And since the carrying costs of the two properties "are so low," he added, the developer could afford to wait.

In the meantime, though, the municipal approvals have expired. So Chinnici decided to put the parcels up for sale just in case.

"If they get their price, they'll sell it. If they don't, they will end up developing it themselves," Malachowski said. "It's just not a good time to undergo such a massive project. They have other things they're currently working on that are more timely."

The broker just listed the property, but "I got interest immediately, as soon as it went up," and the first showing is Friday, he said. "Inventory in the city is quite low, and that's a great parcel."

He wouldn't say who is looking at it, though. "It's a big lift, which narrows the gene pool, but the usual suspects are circling," he added.

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